Album and Single Artwork Design for Jerry Lehane Solo Recordings

I helped Jerry Lehane design the artwork for his recent full album and single releases on Rum Bar Records.

Jerry may be best known for his role in the Boston band The Dogmatics. This is the first time he’s released these five solo recordings that were done in the early 90’s. Check out the album liner notes to read the entire backstory and see the lineup of other great musicians who joined in on these recordings. The selection of songs cover a lot of ground, from hard driving rock to catchy melodies.

Jerry and I talked through the timing and context of these recordings, then we went through a few rounds of exploring a variety of design ideas.

For the full album cover, he gravitated toward the final design that showcases the grit of Boston from the one-point perspective of Green line T tracks.

The single cover for the track “Kiss My Tattoo” was a photograph I took a while back of a light installation at an art gallery that evokes a curious tension between the shadows of two figures.

Jerry Lehane Album and Single Art

The single is out now on major streaming services. You can pre-order the CD from Rum Bar Records, and it releases in full in the first weeks of July. Here are some early reviews…

“This song kicks ass! The sound and the cover photo will take you to the Rat in Kenmore” – Medford Jim

“It’s a cool noisy..and raw.. mid-tempo rocker. In the Dogmatic territory but a bit more energetic even!! We love the way it’s loose. it starts with 10 seconds of amp hum, like they’re in the studio waiting to let go. You can feel the way the guitarist just gets carried away in the solo. You want a real rock feeling…it’s right there with Kiss My Tattoo.” – Boston Groupie News

Design by James Young, Cover Photo by Kyle Tran on Unsplash

Buoymoji Rainbow is Third in Series of iMessage Stickers

Buoymoji Rainbow stickers in actionBuoymoji Rainbow is our 3rd release of Stickers for Apple iMessage on iOS. It’s available now on the Apple App Store.

This latest addition to our buoy themed emoji series includes whimsical buoys turned maritime emoji characters, with rainbow stripes and a blue-tinted body. They go well with our Basic yellow and Colorways sticker sets. Get them all for maximum variety.

The rainbow theme was inspired, in part, to support Pride Month.

Is it Buoymoji or Buoymojis? Either way, we hope you’ll have fun with this reimagining of classic emojis as traditional lobster buoys.

Take pride in adding a splash of rainbow and personality to your iMessage chats. Designed near the ocean in a seacoast suburb of Boston, MA.

A collaboration between James Young and Tim Walling

A Roundup of Product Management & Development Project Tools

There are a variety of tools available to help product teams manage the process of conceiving, defining, planning, executing, and delivering products in an and agile manner.

What works for your team will have a lot to do with factors such as:

  • Team sizes and configuration
  • Scale, scope, and number of initiatives within your group
  • Development methodology preferences, and desire for variations among your teams
  • Existing tech stacks and integration considerations
  • Geographic distribution of your team
  • Budget, and many other things not mentioned here

The list below is just a simple roundup of tools. If I missed anything, please get in touch via email or on Twitter.

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Illustration: Agile Methodology by Florent B from the Noun Project

Code-centric Design Tools on the Rise?

Coded components will finally become the source of truth in UI design

In 2018, I wrote about an emerging trend of tools that mingle visual design and code in ways that are notably different from typical “screen design” tools for drawing pictures of screens and creating no-code prototypes.

While this trend still seems early in the curve of adoption, I’m hopeful that this is the direction that things are eventually going. There are market signals to back this up. For example, Modulz raised $4.2M in seed funding in March of 2020.

Some common themes among these tools include attributes such as:

  • Designing with live data in an application environment vs. static mockups
  • Themes and reusable design tokens
  • Components that are production-ready, reusable, and iteratively designed or enhanced over time
  • Real-time team collaboration features that allow multiple people to work on a design simultaneously
  • Styleguides and Component Libraries as a means of communicating design specifications and fueling consistency
  • Integrations that allow for bi-directional import/export to screen design tools
  • Connections to any popular back end that supports a product team’s code-base

I’m personally looking forward to a tool with these characteristics, becoming the dominant design solution for UX and UI Visual Designers. Let me know if I missed any other examples.

Illustration credit: Feather icons “pen-tool”

An Unopinionated Roundup of Current UX Research & UI Testing Tools

Updated: June 4, 2020

Whether you call it user experience, customer experience, human experience, or simply ‘trying to understand if anyone wants-or-can-use the thing we’re making’ – if you’re reading this, you probably appreciate the importance of iterative user research and usability testing.

This work has historically been the domain of User Experience (UX) professionals, but it is also becoming the standard practice for any cross-functional team developing products and services for buyers and end-users.

I’ve created a running list of all the UX Research and UI Testing platforms I’m aware of in an Airtable database. The live-updating list is embedded below for your reference. I have only used some of these solutions. If you are interested in my opinion or think I missed anything, please get in touch via email or on Twitter.

The list is simple in format and has a direct link to the product’s website. I do not expect that this is enough information to help you decide which tool(s) to choose.

There are lots of great product reviews already out there. If you find a tool of interest, I’m sure you are a quick Google search away from a detailed article or comparison.

Enjoy improving your ideas for – and implementations of – products and services by getting to know your prospects and customers!

Other UX Reading on the Web

Illustrations: co creation workshop, cross-platform, and feedback by Yu luck from the Noun Project